Coroner: Body found in barrel identified as missing Goose Creek man

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Coroner confirmed Sunday a body found on Feb. 27 in Goose Creek is that of a missing man.

The body of 68-year-old Michael Mullikin was found in a barrel in the backyard of his home on Madeline Drive, Coroner Bill Salisbury said.

The coroner's office used DNA to confirm the identity of the badly-burned body.

Goose Creek Police went to the home on Feb. 27 to perform a welfare check after his daughter notified them that she had been unable to reach him, Goose Creek Assistant Police Chief John Grainger said. During a search of the property, police discovered the body was in the barrel.

Officers found the home secure with no signs of forced entry, an incident report states. The resident's daughter told police she had a key to the home, but that her father often changed locks frequently because he has people renting a room from him and then moving out. Her key opened one lock on the front door, but not a second, and she gave police permission to force their way in, the report states.

During a search of the home, officers found the resident's dog in a bedroom but no signs of a struggle or ransacking, the report states. The resident's daughter walked through the home with investigators and said she believed a television and an X-box was possibly missing from the living room.

On March 2, Missouri authorities arrested three people connected to a vehicle stolen from the Goose Creek home. On Thursday, Goose Creek Police announced they had issued a warrant for Shannon Maurice Smith, Jr., 23. Police said Smith was Mullikin's roommate and was one of the three Missouri authorities arrested in Mullikin's car.

The pair arrested with Smith told Missouri authorities Smith claimed he leased the vehicle, but Smith identified himself to police with the alias and admitted the car belonged to the missing man, adding that he had permission to use it, the affidavit states.

Grainger said the grand larceny warrant has not yet been served because Smith is currently wanted in North Carolina on a weapons charge that may carry a higher extradition priority.

The Berkeley County Solicitor's Office is working with North Carolina authorities on this situation, he said.

The investigation is ongoing by the Berkeley County Coroner's Office and the Goose Creek Police Department.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.